Database provides for greater transparency and will be of substantial assistance to the commercial sector
The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter TD, today welcomed the publication of the Commercial Leases Database, by the Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA). The Database provides for greater transparency by making publically available, for the first time, the relevant details of letting agreements and rent reviews in the commercial property market.
The Property Services (Regulation) Act 2011 provides for the establishment of the Database. This legislation applies to all commercial property leases entered into on or after the 3 April 2012, the date the legislation became operational. The Act also provides that certain limited information may be published by the Authority in respect of leases entered into before that date. Consequently, the Authority is making available certain information in respect of all leases entered into since 1 January 2010.
Speaking on the publication of the Database, the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Mr Alan Shatter TD, said, “In the context of the rent review process, access to accurate information is critical in ensuring that a true market rent emerges from that process and that all parties are on an equal footing in terms of ability to access such information.
“In the past, the existence of side agreements, coupled with confidentiality clauses, was viewed as having a distorting effect on the market. The legislation providing for the establishment of the new Database addresses this matter by ensuring full disclosure of all relevant information pertaining to an individual commercial lease. It satisfies the real need for an independent and publicly accessible database to address the information deficit which exists in this area.
“The ability to access the Database should put an end to the situation which was viewed as prevailing in the past whereby so-called “headline rents” were used to set the benchmark for rents in relation to equivalent or neighbouring properties.
“The onus is on commercial tenants to ensure that the required information is forwarded to the Authority within the timeframe set down in the governing legislation. It is clearly in the interests of tenants themselves that there is full compliance with the legislation.”
The Chairperson of the Property Services Regulatory Authority, Ms Geraldine Clarke, added, “I would like to acknowledge the work done by the staff of the Property Services Regulatory Authority in establishing the Commercial Leases Database. This is the third Public Register which has been established by the Authority since its own establishment a little over a year ago.
“As with the Residential Property Price Register and the Register of Licensed Property Services Providers, this new Public Register will provide greater transparency in the property market and will be of substantial assistance to the commercial sector. The Authority will continue to play its part in ensuring that the highest standards are maintained in the property services industry.”
The establishment of a commercial leases database was recommended by the Working Group on Transparency in Commercial Rent Reviews, which reported in August 2010. The Working Group’s membership was largely drawn from those active in the commercial property market.
The Group’s recommendation was based on the absence of a readily available system for obtaining accurate information in order to determine the market rent payable in respect of any given set of commercial premises. Accurate information as to recent transactions in the relevant sector of the market was seen as being of importance, not only to rent reviews, but to the operation of the letting market itself.
The total number of leases entered into since 1 January 2010 is 24,747 of which 9,521 have been entered into since 3 April 2012.
The Commercial Leases Database is available on the Property Services Regulatory Authority website: www.psr.ie
Information contained in the Register
The Register includes the following information in respect of all commercial leases entered into since 1 January 2010:
- The address of the leased commercial property.
- The date of the lease of the property.
- The term of years of the lease and
- The rent payable in respect of the property.
All the above information is available free of charge.
With regard to commercial leases entered into on or after 3 April 2012, the Act imposes an obligation, on tenants of such properties, to furnish the following additional information to the PSRA:
- The commencement date of the terms of the lease
- The capital consideration (if any) to be paid by the tenant or landlord in respect of the commercial property the subject of the lease
- The frequency of the rent review in respect of the property
- The particulars relating to who is liable in respect of the rates, insurance, service charges and repairs in respect of the property
- The net floor area, per each floor, of the property
- The particulars (if any) relating to rent-free periods, fitting out time allowed, fit out allowances and capital contributions in respect of the property
- The particulars relating to any break-in clause in the lease and
- The certificate identification number (within the meaning of the Regulation 2 of the Stamp Duty (e-stamping of Instruments) Regulations 2009).
This additional information may be purchased on-line from the PSRA for a fee of €10 per lease. See PSRA website: www.psr.ie
Tenants or their agents are required under the Act to furnish the relevant information to the PSRA within 30 days of receipt by them of the stamp certificate from the Revenue Commissioners.
Commercial Lease Returns may be filed on-line on the PSRA website (www.psr.ie) or posted to the following address:
Property Services Regulatory Authority
A person who fails to provide the relevant information to the Authority is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of up to €5,000.
In recent weeks, the Authority wrote to all of those who have failed to file a return reminding them of their statutory obligations and informing them that they can file their return on-line. To date, some 2,123 have filed their returns.